Releasing singles is one thing but the for LA based, latin producer Erick Orrosquieta, aka Deorro, the true art lies in taking a many songs and having them all come together to create a single piece thats greater than any one track could ever be. This is what makes his latest album Good Evening stick out compared to the efforts of other EDM superstars who always seem to drop the ball when embarking on any project bigger than an EP. (:cough: Chainsmokers, :cough: Calvin Harris)
Good Evening is 24 tracks although half of these are interludes that feature scenes of disaster, family moments, and classical music, which all work to branch together the dozen or so pop and dance tracks that also cover a wide range of styles. You'll find a dose of hardstyle, trap, electro soul mixed with bounce house, and some happy go lucky dance pop with some inspired vocals from Madeleine Jay and Leslie Roy. While the non-interlude tunes are usually quite short, it is nonetheless impressive to see such a wide mix of genres each done so effectively.
Its quite the roller coaster of emotions that show sides of Deorro that you'd never guess were there. It became all the more clear when I was able to meet up with the man himself to find out what sparked this ambitious project and what he has in store for the future. Delving into his rich musical history, cinematic aspirations, and his plans for a live act, Deorro is riding a massive wave of creativity where he's “fallen out of love with music, and in love with sound”.
Find out more by reading the full interview below
Erick, Whatsup man, thanks again for having me
Thank YOU for having me.
Pleasure's all over here. So I was really pleasantly surprised when I got the Good Evening promo, and I was surprised mainly because most big producer's studio albums tend to be disappointing, but yours actually felt like a real album and not just a compilation. Why do you think some of the other producers fall into that trap and what made you do it a different way?
This is actually my 5th album. The first four I released independently, and for me every five albums I want to create something like this. So when it comes to putting together a compilation of tracks as you'd usually find with other albums, thats when you produce like fifty tracks and then you choose the best ones. That makes sense from their side. For me, I created technically one big song, and thats what made it take forever as well. So to be able to do that, I can't produce fifty tracks and see what fits, it was kinda like I had to be set on what I was gonna make.
It started off with about ten-twelve, tracks, and thats what the album really is and then its a bunch of um..
-a bunch of interludes
-the interludes, yes, that put each track together. With each interlude, I took advantage of the opportunity and I wanted to create scenarios, little pieces that people could visualize, like you're reading a book. Thats why I named and sectioned each interlude as it's own thing. Thats why it's 24 tracks, its a huge track list, and thats why it took forever, it's basically like I created a full mix. It'd be cool if a lot of artists did that. I feel like i'm speaking more for producers. Y'know someone like Datsik or Skrillex, I think i'd be cool if they can produce something that's an hour long and seamless. I feel that really exercises your abilities and teaches you alot. I learned how to play the cello, the violin, y'know, I picked up the guitar again, I did my own vocals, it made me exercise alot of my musical abilities. Thats what I used to do back in the day. I don't know what alot more producers don't do that but I hope they do. Like Snails, I'm such a big fan of Snails, he's got such a crazy sound, it'd be really cool to see that.
It's like they don't wanna challenge themselves, or thats how I take it when you have an albums thats just ten big room tracks or ten filthy dubstep tracks, that have probably been backlogged anyway, and they just polish them up and send em to the record company.
Yeah, I mean it makes sense from that point, from the perspective that you're trying to make a bunch of individual tracks and hopefully a few of them hit radio. Where with mine, I don't think there's much possibility that any hits the radio. Y'know, it's one big piece. The next album won't be like that, but i definitely want to stay away from making a lot of tracks and then just choosing the best ones. I still want to tell a story.
Was that always the goal from day one when you started Good Evening?
Yes, and for me, my most favorite album of all time, what I believe is the best album of all time is Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd.
Yeah, and it's seamless as well as it goes from one track to the next. They kinda overlap things, and I was always curious to what it'd sound like if they actually used the same chords and blended it into the mix. That always stuck out to me cause I knew how long it was gonna take and how much work needed to be put into it, but my label didn't, my management didn't, so it was really hard at first. I had to speed things up to get them a preview of what i'm talking about. I did one that was about fifteen minutes and three songs. I was like “imagine how it'd be like if it was an hour long”. So it took a couple months and as soon as they they started to feel it they were like cool, we understand now.
For me it was really difficult to make sure that every part was good.
Yeah, you don't want anyone skipping any track.
Yeah there'd be pieces where i'd have many approaches. I'd be like “thats not good enough” and i'd replace it. That one “Turn Back Time”, that one was really difficult. I had remade it so many times, but the the guitar helped me a lot and I was finally happy with it and able to move on.
So after five albums, and now that you've made one that's a real, cohesive piece of art, do you find yourself at a different place as a musician?
What the album was also intended for was to see where i'm at. Not just me, but my followers, to see what else they like. That made the future a little more clearer for me. I still have a huge bounce following, a huge EDM following, but I also have people who are down for the guitars and the more classical music with me singing in it. So it's kinda like killing so many birds with one stone. I really wanted to showcase my abilities to spark up the possibilities to collab. My dream collab would be Coldplay or Alicia Keys or the Gorillaz or other bands. Cause i don't know if they'll like EDM but if they hear Good Evening they may think “this sounds cool, we're down for that”. My ultimate goal would be to end up in the movies. I'd like to produce a soundtrack.
You're already knocking on that door, it seems like you're working with some bigger guys, like the collab with Pittbull. How did that feel when you got that call? Who came to who?
That was one hundred percent on the label side. It was sent to him and he was down. It's so crazy to have the support of someone like Pitbull, one of the biggest Latin names. I hope that opens up a lot of possibility in the Latin community. It's so cool cause i'm living proof that you can go from being a bedroom producer to having support from someone like that. I tweeted about it, I posted it, and I wanted to motivate kids and show that it's possible, especially for the Latin community, I feel like EDM lacks a lot of from the Latin side.
I agree and this is a perfect time for the latin flavor, especially with the explosion of the deep and tropical vibe. Are you working on a whole latin album? What are your plans going in that direction?
Im gonna do the same thing as I did with Good Evening, it wont be like one track, it'll probably have some interludes here and there, but i'm basically doing the same thing only I'm talking with Spanish in my head. Y'know in english, I had more hip hop, EDM, dubstep, but in Spanish, i'm gonna keep alot of EDM and fuse it with other genres. So it's gonna sound a little weird, but weird is good. Weird means something new. I'm probably gonna do something like “Bailar” so definitely a little cumbia, and a lot of straight up latin music that won't be EDM at all. I'm also gonna be adding on more experience, i'm learning how to play the saxophone soon, so i'm adding onto my abilities. Overall, i'm gonna stick to my main goal, which is to make fun music. For me, my wish has never been for my music to be heard, it's be enjoyed. I want people to enjoy my music, whether its a hundred people or 100 million.
Since you're learning all these new instruments, do you see yourself doing Deorro live?
One hundred percent. I come the band world. I used to play in a band and I used to play instruments nonstop before I did electronic music.
Guitar, piano, drums. I taught my best friend how to play a couple instruments and we started a band, we actually won a couple battle of the bands, but then high school happened, drama, and the band broke up. That's when I started EDM. With a Laptop I was a one man band. Recording things like guitars and drums changed with things like VSTs and things built into the computer, so I stopped playing instruments for a while. Recently though I got back into playing guitar, so i'm now able to put it all together. See back then, I didn't have the producer experience, I didn't know what was needed to put a whole song together. EDM gave me that experience.
Going back to live shows, I feel that every time you play an EDM song it always sound the same, but playing live gives you the chance to improvise. But yeah definitely 100%, even if I have to do it all myself, I'll figure something out.
There's plenty of guys that do it, look at Robert DeLong.
Yeah I know, I know it's possible, I've seen other guys do it so I feel why can't I too?
Absolutely. By the way, when are you gonna be collabing with Desiigner? Cause there's alot of panda between the two of you.
Oh my god haha I know. I ask myself that same question. I actually sent “Feeling Pretty Good” to Desiigner. Though I feel like for those kinda guys you gotta send em like ten tracks. I'm not so experienced with the hip hop side and I gotta just keep going. I was talking to my brother in law the other day on how it takes a certain amount of time to get comfortable, to be able to replicate certain things. It takes so much time to make what you do valuable, but thats the beauty of it, cause only people who love it will take the time to do it. And I feel like I've fallen out of love with music, and in love with sound.
Can you describe that a little more?
For me, creating music, it was limited. You need to create a song, it needs to come together, you need a good guitar riff, good drums, but for sound its different. You have access to creating a guitar that nobody's ever heard of before, you have the ability to create your own sound. Y'know alot of my guitars, alot of my violins, I did play alot of it and record it but alot of it is my voice. For my drums, it was actually me just tapping on my laptop and for the trumpets i'd be making the noise with my mouth, so thats the thing where I focus on the sound. So once I have the sound, like with trumpets, I can put it into the computer and turn into my very own trumpet.
Like some of my interludes, you listen to it and it's not music, you can hear earthquakes, things shattering, people crying, thats not music, thats the scenario. So because I fell in love with sound, I can have so much fun not just making music.
That makes sense, especially if you want to get into movies.
Exactly! One hundred percent and I feel that's really important for anyone who wants to make a soundtrack, i mean…sound-tracks y'know, so it's really important to experiment and learn what sound is.
What's kind of movie would you want for your sound designer breakthrough?
Hmmm, something like Interstellar.
So some crazy sci-fi flick?
Yeah but not really crazy, if you wanna talk crazy thats like Transformers. That's INSANE sound design, im talking about more like where two people can just be starring at eachother but because of how emotional it is and the sound design, you can start crying. There's this movie called the Room, have you heard of it?
No I haven't.
Well there's a part where a mother and a daughter reunite, and that part made me cry. Soundtracks, thats where two worlds meet, it's the audio world and the visual world. I've created explosions, i've created buildings coming down, car crashes, i've created sound. And you can go in so many ways, it's incredible how far you can go.
Looks like I gotta wrap this up, but I can sense your passion a mile away, I'm sure you'll go far man, looking forward to it.
Stream Good Evening now and keep your ears peeled for more from Deorro.